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German National Tourist Board invests in digital projects

Additional funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) allow the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) new projects to market Germany as a travel destination. With this, the GNTB focuses on expanding the presence with globally acting Online Travel Companies (OTC), further developing innovative event formats as well as Implementing digital technologies such as language assistant systems and chatbots.

Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the Board of the GNTB explains: “The rapid increase of internet bookings to 70% for incoming travel from Europe to Germany and to 80% for incoming travel from overseas is exemplary for the fundamental influence of digital technologies on the entire value chain of the tourism industry. Online media as a central element of our marketing communication are an integral part of the successful development for German incoming tourism. We are very glad that the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with additional budget for 2018 allows the GNTB further investments in the future, so that we can position Germany as a travel destination even stronger with regard to increasing global competition.”

Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the Board of the GNTB, photo: ITB

Strengthened presence with OTC platforms

42% of worldwide online travel bookings according to Phocuswright are booked through Online Travel Agencies while three platforms already control more than 90% of the European market. Through the systematic expansion of the cooperation with Online Travel Companies the GNTB already increases its reach with potential clients for Germany in the inspiration phase. The GNTB has previously realized a pilot project in cooperation with Expedia in 2017, under the heading Travelmatch in Great Britain, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands. Users were lead through picture worlds in a playful manner to define their travel preferences. Another additional macro-regional campaign of the GNTB will be implemented in 2018 on Expedia for selected important source markets such as Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Denmark. With one of the leading online travel platforms in China, Ctrip, the GNTB implemented a campaign as a cooperation project with the advertising association of the Magic Cities and the Deutsche Bahn.

Innovative event formats

The participation in international showcase fairs and GNTB events such as workshops and road shows in the countries where the GNTB is represented are central elements for knowledge transfer and networking of the GNTB. With extending the platforms to virtual participations with for example live broadcasting, online press conferences, webinars or Google hangouts the GNTB enhances the reach for such events. With using elements like virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics and live voting, communication with the participants intensifies.

New technologies

More than one billion people worldwide already use digital assistants. Experts predict that until 2020 already 50 percent of internet searches will be done through language assistants. The GNTB is currently developing a pilot project on the use of the digital language assistant Alexa in the USA and Great Britain. With the available additional budget, the GNTB invests in further projects on the use of voice programming.

Source: GNTB